Emergency dispatchers caught up in employment contract dispute

One of the worst outcomes imaginable could result if a person experiencing a true emergency isn't able to reach help when calling 9-1-1. However, when these critical employees are caught up in an employment contract dispute, this could possibly happen if no one is left to answer these pleas for assistance. Every county in California, as well as every other state, has a center that employs these dedicated workers.

One county in a northern part of the country is now attempting to resolve a dispute with its emergency dispatchers. Two of the employees at this center, who have dedicated themselves to this stressful and demanding occupation, lament that they are on the verge of leaving their jobs due in part to the pay system. One woman stated that this particular center has experienced a tremendous turnover because wages are too low for the new hires to make a living.

Along with the low starting rate, some of the workers are required to pay more for health insurance when they are forced to work without the benefit of a contract. The director of the center, and the one charged with how dispatchers are paid, stated that the call center could not afford to increase the pay rate. He further asserted that the wage was actually higher for dispatchers due to the demanding nature of the work.

However, when a television news source investigated, it was discovered that the center actually had a surplus in its coffers that had been there for the past few years. At this time, the dispatchers and county were scheduled to attempt to negotiate the terms but would then proceed to mediation if necessary, in order to resolve this ongoing employment contract dispute. California employees who feel that they are not making forward progress in their own disputes may seek a remedy with the assistance of an employment law attorney who is experienced in resolving these disputes in the most efficient and equitable manner possible.

Source: wwmt.com, "Branch County 911 dispatchers embroiled in contract dispute", Walter Smith-Randolph|, April 12, 2017

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